Polegate teenager diagnosed with leukaemia following back pains

A 16-year-old boy from Polegate has been diagnosed with leukaemia after experiencing back pain.

Monday, 1st November 2021, 11:32 am

A 16-year-old boy from Polegate has been diagnosed with leukaemia after experiencing back pain.

Doctors discovered Oliver Williams had cancer of the blood cells in September after eight weeks of pain.

Oliver’s family and friends are now trying to raise money as his mum has had to take a step back from work to help care for her son.

Oliver Williams in hospital SUS-211028-125804001

According to Oliver’s aunt, Brogan Blake, his dad has also had to take time off work to drive his son to and from hospital.

Mrs Blake said, “All we really want is we want to support Sian and Richard as much as we possibly can in order for them to support Oliver because Sian has had to give up her job and Richard is limited to working because of his hours at work.”

Since his diagnosis, Oliver has been receiving treatment at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton and at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton.

Mrs Blake said, “It was absolutely terrifying but also knowing he was at the Marsden when we received the diagnosis, it’s a nationally-renowned hospital for being a specialist in cancer.

Oliver Williams in hospital SUS-211028-125754001

“You knew he was in the best place possible, and also they didn’t make it feel like it was a very big outlook. They gave a lot of support.

“They said, ‘This is very, very treatable. It is going to be a very long journey but it is very likely that he will survive’.”

As part of his recovery, Oliver visits the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital three times a week and has received blood transfusions and chemotherapy.

Mrs Blake added, “It is a lot for a young boy to go through. He is going to lose his hair and his mobility is terrible. He can’t get around without crutches, a Zimmer frame or a wheelchair.

Oliver Williams (right) with his older brother Jacob and younger sister Emily SUS-211028-125814001

“He isn’t leaving the house at the moment because it is really, really hard.”

Oliver’s aunt said doctors have told the family he may be impacted by the leukaemia for up to three years and may always have an issue with his mobility, although nothing is definite.

She said, “This is going to mentally, completely change his life, and physically it is going to be an ongoing thing for many years.”

Mrs Blake, who is Oliver’s mum’s sister, said her nephew is a ‘really happy boy’.

Oliver's aunt Brogan Blake SUS-211029-093439001

She said, “Oliver has a very cheeky personality. He is very cheeky. He loves sweets, he loves playing Minecraft, he has a handful of really good friends.

“He likes his home comforts and he absolutely adores his mum.

“He is just happy with very, very simple things and very loving. Just a nice, decent boy.”

As well as aiming to raise money to support the family, friends are also trying to give Oliver something to look forward to when he recovers.

On Oliver’s Go Fund Me page a family friend said, “Oliver’s dream is to hold a koala bear. This is possible at Longleat safari park. A week at the Center Parcs nearby would be fantastic for the whole family.”

To donate please visit Oliver’s Go Fund Me page.

Oliver Williams before his diagnosis SUS-211028-125824001